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September 21, 2023

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Visitors attend annual tractor show

Drivers on Route 6 on Saturday and Sunday saw the bright red of tractors at the Wood County Historical Museum.

The Museum held its annual Antique Tractor Show last weekend. According to Kelli Kling, the marketing and events coordinator at the Museum, they have partnered with the Power of Yesteryear Club of Wood County for many years to host the event.

There were plenty of festivities for the families in attendance including getting homemade ice cream, free kiddie rides and being able to see what life used to be like on a farm.

According to Kling, the museum used to be a working poor farm and had many types of people working there, including those who were mentally ill and physically disabled. The reason they have the event is to show what it is like to work on a farm as well as interpret the history and importance of farming to the area of Wood County for those who may not be familiar with the area.

“This includes trying to answer the questions of ‘why are there ditches’ or ‘why is it flat?’” said Kling.

One of the buildings that was active on Saturday was the Blacksmith Shop. Attendants watched nails being made and were able to cut a log with a saw the old-fashioned way.

“For seven minutes, I have a kid’s attention, while I make a nail. And they get excited over watching it being made,” Bob Willman, an avid blacksmithing enthusiast, said.

He also pointed out that it only takes seven minutes to make a nail, which is how long a child’s attention span is.

Children at the blacksmith shop showed their interest with responses of “whoa” and “wow” and “that is cool!”

Willman has been practicing the art of blacksmithing for 30 years as a hobby. He has his own blacksmithing shop at home and shared a story about how the Wood County Historical Museum acquired the lathe machine in the barn.

According to Willman, the machine was donated to the museum after a man in Toledo asked all the museums in Toledo to take it and no one wanted it. Once it arrived at the museum, it sat for another three years before it was finally reassembled in the building it sits in today.

He also had a binder with a black and white photo to show what a typical shop looked like with all the clutches coming down into the machines.

Other various activities were at the show as well, which included watching a corn husk machine that showed the audience how corn is made before being shipped off, as well as being able to walk through the oil rig shop.

Many owners of older tractors displayed their equipment, and visitors could also see an antique car that had to be cranked on the side in order to start.

Another attraction at the show was rope-making. A person who wanted to make the rope stood at a crank, turned it, and watched it being braided. The rope could be made with up to four colors and the person participating could also get snaps if they wanted.

Visitors could also see the first gas engines and generators, and various ones ran throughout the day.

The museum, along with the Power of Yesteryear Club, has a long-standing history of holding the event at the museum in order to bring the history to life.

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